Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

We had thoroughly enjoyed our ride on the little mountain railway up to Rochers de Naye (see here). The information sign at the platform helpfully directed us to the various mountain top activities.

It would be fair to say, though, it wasn’t the best day for sightseeing at the summit or for too many outdoor activities – gloomy skies and a rather chill wind greeted us and we thought the best place to admire the scenery was from the comfort of the “Restaurant Panoramique”. Here we tucked in to hearty Swiss style mountain fayre and enjoyed a half bottle of the local Oeil-de-Perdrix, a delicious rose wine made from the Pinot Noir grapes that grow in abundance in the Vaud canton.

Intrigued by the information sign promising a “Marmottes Paradis”, we headed off to investigate the museum. Ever since we went to the Alpenzoo in Innsbruck a few years back, I have wanted to see one of these cute little creatures in the wild. Unfortunately they were still hibernating that day at Innsbruck Zoo. Here they appeared to be stuffed! Please excuse the quality of photos in the museum – lighting was tricky.

We did, however, learn a lot of new information about their life cycle, mating season and even grooming habits. We also found out that the marmot is known as a groundhog in America (for some reason I’d never twigged they were one and the same). Fortunately later on in our holiday we were finally able to see some marmots in their native habitat – scampering about in the snow near the summit of the Gornergrat Bahn high up in the mountains near Zermatt.

Braving the chill wind outdoors we considered heading up to the flag pole that marks the Rochers de Naye summit a few hundred or so metres above us. Having seen a few walkers slithering around on the snowy, icy path we thought better of it and went to look at the collection of yurts instead.

The “Yurt Experience” is one of the attractions on offer at Rochers de Naye – an opportunity to spend a night in an authentic Mongolian style tent. It sounds a good idea in principle, billed as a romantic getaway or family bonding experience with heating and cosy decor. Just one note though, the amenities (including the toilets and dining room) are in the main building. Something to bear in mind especially in mid winter! In that case you might want to consider staying in the hotel instead. Either way you do get to stay up the mountain after all the day trippers have left and the sunsets and sunrises must be amazing.

Despite the grey day, the views were still spectacular in all directions. It was too early in the season for the Jardin Alpin to be open but in the warmer months there are many opportunities for hiking and walking. A warming cup of tea and a lengthy browse round the well-stocked gift shop later, we caught the train back down the mountain.  More stunning views and displays of spring flowers on the descent – Rochers de Naye is definitely a place we’d love to come back to!

 

Copyright © 2017 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

9 thoughts on “Exploring Rochers de Naye

  1. The yurts look interesting Rosemary but I think it would be the hotel for me!! What a day of contrasts as well – all that snow and then spring flowers, sounds perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’d be with you Joy – definitely the hotel for me especially as at least 1 of the yurts looked rather close to the cliff edge!! They do get good write ups on Trip Advisor though from people who’ve stayed in them and it certainly would be a very interesting experience! We love the mountains and one of the attractions is the change of scenery. Sometimes it can be snowing at the top and warm sunshine down in the valley. It’s so refreshing up in the mountain air too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    Ooh, shivering! The first place we saw marmots was Austria. Since then, we’ve seen a lot in North America including this summer. John got some good photos, coming soon. Well, soonish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was a little chilly Anabel! No marmots out that day but later on they were out in force near Gornergrat – it was a lovely sunny day and the snow was just starting to melt on some of the rocks so they were sitting there sunning themselves! Will look out for your marmot/groundhog posts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo says:

    It does look an interesting place, Rosemay, but I can’t quite fathom why the yurts are there, trying to look authentic in Switzerland 🙂 I didn’t make the connection with groundhogs either. I wonder whenever I hear the expression Groundhog Day 🙂 Hope it’s a good weekend for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did find the yurts a little out of place Jo, I must say, but apparently they are very popular. I have seen them on property and travel shows before where people have the idea of offering them out as an upmarket form of camping (even in the UK!). I always associate the groundhogs with the film of the same name “Groundhog Day”! Yes we’ve had a good weekend and just made it home from walking the dog before a storm hits us – we’ve been warned to batten down the hatches so hope it’s not too severe! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend too and will be along for a walk tomorrow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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